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What Can We Learn from Google Inc. about Effective Customer Support?

3 min
First published:  
June 9, 2020
Nicholas Phair
Founder & CEO @ telbee
 - a.k.a - 
Let's talk! Details at bottom of page...

In the beginning...

In the early days of Telbee, when I was responsible for all aspects of the business (being one of the few people working on it!), I was struggling with some rather more complex elements regarding the security of our G-Suite implementation.

After hours spent scanning the knowledge bases and forums to no avail, I decided that I would attempt to contact Google directly to see if somebody could give me a hand.

Safe to say, I didn’t hold out much hope.

A story of exceptional customer service

I went to Google’s support pages and was very pleased to find a telephone number I could call for support.

I dialled and was immediately greeted by a recorded voice. My heart sank as I braced for the interminable sequence of key presses and voice responses that, given my prior experience with these systems, I knew would invariably lead either back to the knowledge bases and forums or, eventually and with some luck, to the right person who might have an answer for me.

I swivelled on my chair and turned my head to the ceiling in anticipation of the process.

To my surprise, what I heard instead was a very brief prompt: 

“Please record a message to tell us why you’re calling, and someone from our team will call you right back. We aim to reply within approximately 30 minutes.” 

I followed the instructions to the tee.

In under 2 minutes, I explained the history of my problem, the steps that I had taken to address it, and the results (or lack thereof) I was experiencing.

I then hung up, muttered “that was easy”, and within seconds my thoughts had moved to the next item on my to-do list.

Within about 20 minutes, I received a call on my mobile phone. I glanced over at the display and saw that it was a number I didn’t recognise. I answered.

“Hello, Mr. Phair. This is Janine from Google. I understand that you are having some issues with your G-Suite setup. I’ve looked into your account and this is certainly something we can help you with.”

Before I had even spoken, Janine had answered my prayers. She was somebody who knew and understood me and the issue I was facing, and could proffer the right solutions. 

The rest of the call went exceptionally smoothly as I didn’t have to repeat myself in any way.

Clearly, my prior explanation had done the trick, and Janine was ready with answers

customer voice support

Within 10 minutes, I had checked that elusive checkbox and entered the requisite custom configuration. My screen behaved in the way I had hoped it would on so many prior skirmishes with it.

I smiled, thanked Janine profusely for her assistance, and hung up.

What I had just experienced was an exceptional customer service experience.

I realised in that moment that this was exactly one of the use cases that I was building into Telbee - the means to blend asynchronous (leaving a message) and synchronous (a return phone call) communications by voice to deliver exceptional customer experiences

What I was most pleased about was that Google (and later I found out Apple and a few other tech giants too), in all of their wisdom, had identified this means of customer communication and engagement (voice) as holding a particular value for customer support.

What Telbee would offer would be an even simpler way of delivering this. As a customer, I wouldn’t need to dial a telephone number, but could simply click on a button on a website page to explain what I needed in my own voice.

The power of voice

So why voice?

If I had ventured into drafting an email to explain my issue, or engaged with a live chat assistant (or worse - a chatbot), I would have spent infinitely longer explaining myself, with the risk that much of what I was saying would have been lost in miscommunication or misunderstanding

By voice, I was able to express myself in my way, using an intonation and choice of words that was obviously heard loud and clear and appropriately understood and interpreted by Janine. 

Prior to our call, she had done all the necessary investigations into my account, and was ready to speak to me in the way that I needed to be spoken to – with a personal touch.

And this is where I’ll close this little story – around the theme of personal touch

In this day and age, where we are bombarded by thousands of ideas, issues and to-dos, consumers, such as myself, are often lumped together into a single “the customer” category. What made Google stand out here was their use of voice. Janine’s voice and very personal approach to me and my issue went such a long way.

The takeaway

Through this experience, I learned that listening to what your customers have to say, in their voice, rather than interpreting what they might or might not need, doesn’t just allow you to better understand them. Most importantly, it helps you deliver that personal touch in your reply, showing your customers that you simply care.

Certainly, Google has gone up in my estimation to no end.

To find out how voice messaging can supplement your existing customer support and marketing channels, get in touch with Telbee today!

Get Started with telbee!

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